Long geodesics on convex surfaces Journal Article


Author(s): Akopyan, Arseniy; Petrunin, Anton
Article Title: Long geodesics on convex surfaces
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: The goal of this article is to introduce the reader to the theory of intrinsic geometry of convex surfaces. We illustrate the power of the tools by proving a theorem on convex surfaces containing an arbitrarily long closed simple geodesic. Let us remind ourselves that a curve in a surface is called geodesic if every sufficiently short arc of the curve is length minimizing; if, in addition, it has no self-intersections, we call it simple geodesic. A tetrahedron with equal opposite edges is called isosceles. The axiomatic method of Alexandrov geometry allows us to work with the metrics of convex surfaces directly, without approximating it first by a smooth or polyhedral metric. Such approximations destroy the closed geodesics on the surface; therefore it is difficult (if at all possible) to apply approximations in the proof of our theorem. On the other hand, a proof in the smooth or polyhedral case usually admits a translation into Alexandrov’s language; such translation makes the result more general. In fact, our proof resembles a translation of the proof given by Protasov. Note that the main theorem implies in particular that a smooth convex surface does not have arbitrarily long simple closed geodesics. However we do not know a proof of this corollary that is essentially simpler than the one presented below.
Journal Title: Mathematical Intelligencer
Volume: 40
Issue 3
ISSN: 03436993
Publisher: Springer  
Date Published: 2018-09-01
Start Page: 26
End Page: 31
DOI: 10.1007/s00283-018-9795-5
Open access: no
IST Austria Authors
  1. Arseniy V Akopyan
    15 Akopyan
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